For a while now, search engine optimisation (or SEO) has been applauded for its ability to boost conversions.
In fact, an entire industry has been created by specialists in link building and optimising websites for search engine results pages (SERPS). But through this, some of the basics have been forgotten – it’s not just SEO that can help drive online sales.
Over the last five years, we’ve seen a massive rise in the number of good quality blogs appearing – and these days you’re not likely to come across a good website without at least a news section. For the most part, businesses integrate this into their website as a way of working their way up in SERPS, by providing useful content that readers might share on social media. But blogs are also a brilliant way to naturally drive traffic and boost conversions.
Back to basics: consistency
Although more and more businesses are introducing blogs onto their websites, there is still a pattern of them being updated irregularly and with content that is inconsistent. Not planning posts could be having a detrimental impact on the effectiveness of a blog, especially when encouraging visitors to convert.
In fact, B2B companies that blog regularly receive 67 per cent more leads every month than those that don’t. And with blogs being named as the fifth most trusted source of accurate information online, it’s worth investing time into one to attract customers.
Underestimating the value of Google analytics
Don’t forget about Google analytics. Use it to see the kinds of posts that receive the most traffic – is it posts that contain images, posts that offer advice, or news updates? Also look at those with the most comments, and those shared often. It won’t take you long to get this information, and it could be the difference between whether your blog is successful or not. Take the 80/20 approach, 80 per cent of your content should be the posts that you know your visitors like, and you can use the other 20 per cent to experiment with new themes or ideas.
Remember what works for others might not work for you, or your industry. So take some time to nail this on the head. It sounds simple, but you’d be surprised by the number of businesses getting this wrong, and if they happen to be one of your competitors you could do well by perfecting this.
Email is one of your most valuable tools
It’s taken time to build up your email list – so make the most of it. If you’ve not already got a weekly or monthly newsletter going out, you really need to start one. It’s not only brilliant for marketing messages but it’s a valuable tool for increasing the reach of your blog. A notable 74 per cent of marketers believe email will still be one of the best channels for delivering ROI in five years’ time, so ignore it at your peril.
Email is a great way to encourage existing customers back to your website or specific posts on your blog. Whether you’re giving them an exclusive offer, a preview of an upcoming blog, or an update on your business, a newsletter or email marketing message is a brilliant way to tie your marketing strategy together. And as customers will have chosen to sign up to your newsletter or marketing messages, or at least haven’t hit the unsubscribe button, they will be more likely to welcome contact.
Clickbait isn’t always bad
Although readers will recognise that titles such as “5 crazy ways to make more money through your website – 3 is NUTS” is obvious clickbait – catchy headlines still work. While in clickbait articles the content is often secondary to the title, a punchy headline is going to make your article stand out next to others that could be similar.
As the SEO rules change, and Google’s updates increasingly make it a sometimes uncertain investment, getting the basics right is a good way to generate steady leads via your website.
As professionals that use the web to build relationships with customers, devoting time to a blog is worthwhile to instil trust into visitors that statistics suggest is likely to encourage conversions.
Daniel Foster, technical director and co-founder of WordPress hosting company 34SP.com
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